Trekking Landmark Skyscraper

By:  | April - 29 - 2019

Honorable Mention
2019 Skyscraper Competition

Fábio Ferreira Neves

Graubünden is the largest and one of the mostbeautiful cantons in Switzerland. Entirelymountanious, it has manymarkable structures on the mostspecial and not easlyacessible places. Theyused to befortressesfrom the 13th and 14th century whichwereprogressivelyabandoned. Nowadays, theseruinscrown somedistintictive topographie location of the SwissAlps and due to the difficultaccess, remainforgotten.

Known as a perfect place for winter sports, Switzerland has manyspecial and longhikes to do in summer as well.The design workswiththeseelements, a family of reusedfortressesalong the trails.

To be able to protect the ancient structures, somemonolithic roofs are addedtobring a new life to theseruinedfortress. Itsexistingstone walls, frame the floor of the new volumes. This adition covers, protectthe oldruins and providenewshelters for the hikers. The new landmarkshave an important impact thatguide the hikers.

With an hugeconcreteroundedcolumn in the middle, the new volume doesn’ttouch the existing structure and create a gap thatbrings a unique filterednatural light for the entrance area. This central core has all the vertical and technical connections but canguarantee a transparencyin eachfloor.

The organisation of the building are in threenucleos: public, private and common areas. The first, the fortressthatcontains the public area, is the entrance floorand itiscomposed by a singlespace of an impressive size resultingof a tension betweenold and new, existing and adition. It hasthe Lobby, Gallery, Libraryand at the basement, the Archive and Toiletswhichcomplementthis public area. The second nucleo, already in the new volume, has the private areas for the hikerswhich are inspired by theexistingopenings of thefortress. In these body are the Cabins with a meeting balcony between them. The third and higher nucleo, hasthe common areas like the Dining and Living Room, Room of Silence and the Group Rooms in the last floor, iluminated with zenital light.

Although its massive picture, the building has the flexibility as the main key. With an autonomous entrance for the hikers at the basement, the entrance floor can be part of the refuge or a room to be rented by the neighboorhood. The Refuge units for hikers have also a flexible system which allows a single person or family to rent 2 units (bedroom and living area), as well as 4, 6 or 8, the whole floor.

The existing ruin and its extension are merged without changing the footprint and the quality of the existing exterior spaces. The existing quarry stone walls are preserved by the addition of the new monolithic brick buildind. This material allows a strategical color composition and next to the fortress, the similar color gets brighter and lighter in high, trying to join the building with the sky. Old and new are now together to ensure harmony rather than contrast.

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